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Gallardo throws first bullpen in O's uniform

Pitchers dominate hitters in Saturday's intrasquad game
Special to MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Pitching usually dominates hitting at the start of Spring Training, with the Orioles' intrasquad game on Saturday a classic case in point.

The five-inning contest, which was played under sunny but brisk conditions on the Camden Yards replica field, ended in a scoreless tie. Ryan Flaherty's infield single in the third inning -- a comebacker off the foot of Chaz Roe -- accounted for the lone hit of the afternoon.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Pitching usually dominates hitting at the start of Spring Training, with the Orioles' intrasquad game on Saturday a classic case in point.

The five-inning contest, which was played under sunny but brisk conditions on the Camden Yards replica field, ended in a scoreless tie. Ryan Flaherty's infield single in the third inning -- a comebacker off the foot of Chaz Roe -- accounted for the lone hit of the afternoon.

Rotation key to Orioles' chances

Pitchers were limited to roughly 15 pitches each, with a total of 10 hurlers taking the mound.

Road-team starter Zach Britton opened the game by retiring all four batters he faced, recording three groundouts and a strikeout while throwing 11 of his 15 pitches for strikes.

Britton issued a four-pitch walk to promising first baseman and the Orioles' No. 6-ranked prospect Trey Mancini, whom executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette described as a "player to watch" when he and Buck Showalter conducted a Q&A session with season-ticket holders moments before the game inside Ed Smith Stadium.

In what would prove to be the exception to the game's otherwise dominant exhibition of pitching, home starter Ubaldo Jimenez struggled with his control, throwing six of his 13 pitches for strikes while retiring only two batters.

In other notable efforts, Odrisamer Despaigne threw 12 of his 19 pitches for strikes with two strikeouts and a walk. Dale Thayer tossed nine of 16 pitches for strikes with two strikeouts in the fourth, and an impressive Andrew Triggs closed out the contest by retiring five batters on 15 pitches (13 strikes) in the fifth inning with three strikeouts.

Video: Top Prospects: Andrew Triggs, RHP, Orioles

"He's an interesting guy," Showalter said of Triggs, 26, who was added to the 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. "He's got a presentation that you can use. We know how tough he can be on right-handed hitters, and he's come along against left-handed hitters. Real sharp guy, seems to have a pretty good baseball IQ. He is way over there on the rubber -- almost off of it. It's a tough look for right-handers, really tough look. Late breaking ball. We'll see."

Right-hander Mychal Givens turned in the defensive play of the game in the fourth -- and showcased his lightning-fast reflexes in the process -- when the former shortstop snared a rocket off the bat of Mancini. Givens boasted impressive stuff, throwing seven of 11 pitches for strikes while fanning Garabez Rosa.

Worth noting
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo tossed his first bullpen session as an Oriole on Saturday.

"[He] looked good," Showalter said. "Threw three pitches -- fastball, breaking ball, changeup. [He] felt good. We're going to take two days off and do it again. Usually when the guys start out, it's one day in between, but we're going to take two with him, just to not get ahead of ourselves."

Video: Gallardo introduced as latest member of the Orioles

Showalter reiterated that either Tyler Wilson or Mike Wright will start Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener against the Braves at 1:05 p.m. ET, but he wouldn't say which one. Both pitchers will see action in the contest.

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB. com.

 

Baltimore Orioles, Zach Britton, Yovani Gallardo, Ubaldo Jimenez, Andrew Triggs